Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful.
It is the symbol of his liberty - his excessive freedom.
He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically,
but almost with pleasure.

Aldous Huxley

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What's left of Women's Day?

We are today the 9th of March 2011. Yesterday was the 8th of March 2011, or International Women's day. It has now been over a century of International Women's days; over a century of activism marked by that symbolic day, the 8th of March. Women have of course always fought for their rights, but we like to say that feminism is something of the twentieth century. 

     We also like to say that women's conditions have dramatically improved in that same century, that women are now equal to men, and that men are even abused in Canada or in some Scandinavian countries (stories of myk mann = a man who goes against the traditional male role). 

     The reason for me to write this post is that I was yesterday supposed to go shoot a march in support of Palestinian Women and in relation with the international women's day. I arrived there, and left immediately, for there was almost no one. It's international women's day and no one cares in Montreal. Tonight I came back from work, checked the Al Jazeera English website, and ended up on this story: "In Juarez, women just disappear". The issue is that in Juarez, a border city plagued by drug gangs, women often disappear because they are used by gangs to 'train' new recruits. They kidnap a young girl (like Alejandra Garcia Andrade), rape her, and after days of agony leave the dead body in a gutter.


Then I browsed a bit more on Al Jazeera, and found this other article: "The New Egypt: Leaving women behind". The story is about Egyptian women who feel left beside after the revolution that saw Egypt get rid of Mubarak. Kifeya! (enough!)

But the problem is that these two examples are only two examples. There are thousands of other examples, untold stories. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), hundreds of women are raped every months by rebel groups, by government troops, and even by UN troops sometimes; all of this resulting from centuries of colonization and destruction.

In Japan, dozens of women are raped every years by US troops in Okinawa. Dozens of female US troops are raped  every years by their own colleagues male US troops.

In other words there are countless examples of gendercides that keep occuring all around the world; sometimes much closer to home than most would think. Yet, on International Women Day, in Montreal, no one cared.